Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Witness captures Alexandria shooting on cell phone

Witness captures Alexandria shooting on cell phone

It was not immediately clear if Collins was at the baseball practice.

"It's going to be in my pocket from this day forward", said Collins, who added he has a permit.

Here's how witnesses - from members of Congress to a passerby - describe the attack, in conversations with Morning Edition and with NPR's Jessica Taylor, who spent the day reporting from the scene of the attack.

In addition to the thousands of dollars it raises for the Boys and Girls Clubs and other D-C charities, Donnelly says it's important that members of Congress not back away in times of danger.

The shooting began around 7 a.m. Homeowners stroll the sidewalks, walking their dogs. "I pray for Donald Trump, that his presidency will be successful and that his family will be safe". And this security person stepped out of a Suburban and had a handgun and yelled, 'Drop your weapon!' And the person shot that guard, and he or she fell in front of us.

Hodgkinson, 66, wounded House Rep. Steve Scalise before he was fatally shot by police who had been guarding the House majority whip.

"We dove for the dugout, those of us who were on the field still". Scalise, too, was attended to by his colleagues on the field. But there was gunfire going overhead, so I couldn't get out there. Trump's initial comments after the shooting that wounded Scalise and four others were classy, restrained, and clearly scripted. And sometime after that, the assault on the congressional team ended. But with 535 members of the House and Senate, lawmakers said it is unlikely rank-and-file members will get security details unless there is a specific threat.

Texas Rep. Roger Williams, who coaches the GOP team, said that one of his aides, Zack Barth, was shot, but "is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery".

The attacker was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a Belleville, Illinois, home inspector who is thought to have been in Alexandria since March, with no work, living in his white cargo van and frequenting the YMCA next to the field. No other deaths have been reported from the shooting. He was in critical condition following surgery, the hospital said.

Marty LaVor, a retired Capitol Hill worker, was taking pictures by first base when he saw a man holding a rifle behind a chain-link fence by third base.

Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., said he feels adequately protected at the Capitol complex and feels no need to carry a gun.

Chaos ensued. Lawmakers dove for cover. At least 70 shots could be heard in a video.

LaVor got in the dugout. Telling the story later, his trousers were still scuffed and muddy and his elbows were scratched and bandaged. Officials say they know Hodgkinson was living out of his vehicle. Banks and Brooks say the Louisiana congressman is respected on both sides of the aisle - Brooks calls him "a happy warrior" who's always listened to his colleagues.

Brooks estimated 50 to 100 shots were fired.

The injured included two officers with non-life threatening wounds. C-Span will carry the game, they said at their presser.

"If we play tomorrow I'll play", Brooks said, "but if we decide to cancel it I hate to think that this guy, this shooter, was successful with a charitable event".

The officer, he said, was "shooting back, risking themselves, giving us protection". One guy's got a rifle, and you've got a pistol. "It wasn't a fair fight". Police started returning fire.

First came the ping of baseball bats, a familiar sound of the leafy neighborhood's morning.

Scalise, the injured lawmaker, is a friend of Shimkus. "Joe and I have been reflecting a lot lately on how we can still maintain our principles and our legislative agendas, but we could do it in a more civil way". He had been living out of his van in the Alexandria area in recent months, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

"That's the misperception about Congress and about Washington that leads to this political rhetoric that is not true", he said.

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